-Sitting on a plane is enlightening. I love the feeling to being in between the ground and space. It feels like I am floating and gives me time to imagine and envision projects, ideas and dreams.
My husband and I were asked to tag-a- long on a birthday celebration trip to Play de Carmen with another couple who are dear friends of ours. Of course we said yes. Why not hang with friends for a long weekend? But this trip was different for a few reasons:
At Toronto Pearson Airport, we once again line bypassed all of the people waiting in security with our Amercian Express Platnium card. This is one of the best perks of having an American Express Platinum card! You can get from curbside to lounge life in less than 30 minutes! Once in the lounge, we grabbed a bite to eat and waited for our friends to join us.
We flew with Aeromexico which was surprisingly a great airline, centered on customer service. I’m talking free wi-fi, complimentary food, drinks and snacks. The flight felt longer than my flight to Japan and we had to stop over in Mexico City. In Mexico City, we visited the American Express Centurion Lounge before heading to our connecting flight.
Upon our arrival in Playa de Carmen, we picked up our rental car and drove another 45 minutes to our Airbnb accommodations. Our anticipation for yummy Mexican food was too real. So we had to stop at a street vendor and picked up a round of chicken and vegan tacos.
We stayed at the A-nah suites. Check in went smooth. No hiccups. There was parking, security and a great welcoming team. We loved our Airbnb. It was beautiful at night and we couldn’t wait to see it in the morning. There was a rooftop pool, with many lounge chairs and cabanas. The property is a combination of residences and condos so we met people who gave us suggestions for lunch and dinner.
The actual suite was modern and luxurious with two bedrooms,two full bathrooms, ample storage and two king-sized beds. The full kitchen allowed us to cook some of our meals and became the meeting point for excursions. The balcony was large and doubled as lounge and place to hang our swimsuits to dry.
Our Airbnb was a 10 minute walk way from a strip of restaurants and stores ironically called “ 5th ave”. Ha! Sorry no Saks! We headed there for our first full real meal in Mexico. We over did it with the food but it was our first dinner in Playa comprised of nachos and fries supreme, wings and fish tacos. Whoa!
TIP: If you arrive during the evening head over to the local grocery store to pick up snacks, fruits, drinks and quick breakfast food. ie. bagels, cream cheese, jam, milk so you are ready to start the new day.
The next morning we headed to Mamacita’s Beach Club for drinks, food and the sun. My favorite thing to do at the beach is sit next to my husband and read, take notes or play suduko. I took a dip in the water and enjoyed the sun on my face. Beach life is THEE life.
To celebrate the birthday girl, we went to Aluxe Restaurant. The restaurant is in a real cave. The lighting and décor made it even more dramatic and unique. Aluxe features a private wine cellar, handbag racks at your table and a wide variety of fun drinks. The steak dinner I had was literally one of the best steaks I have ever had and the Mexican vegetables were different but added a local flare to the meal.
I didn’t do much shopping beyond souvenirs but there was a lot of duty free options, artisanal pieces and handmade crafts. Instead, I fully immersed myself in the colours of Mexico. Because I spent a lot of time on the beach or by the pool, swimsuits and covers ups were my uniform. The beach cabana was a breezy and cool option while out in the bright sun. With a fries supreme and the best burger I have ever tasted from Mamacita's Beach club, the sun didn't seem as hot. Ha!
Look out for my post with a recap of all of the poolside looks featured on my Instagram.
Despite the bad press, Playa felt very safe. We walked late at night and into the morning, ate from street vendors and definitely stood out from the crowd. But not once did I feel unsafe or out of place. The people were friendly and were willing to help us. There was a language barrier but with sign language and Google translate, we were able to find our way around and find the foods we loved.
TIP: Download travel apps prior to going on a trip. Make sure you know how to use them. I would suggest Google Translate and a currency Converter.
Playa was a great getaway with the sun, food and a variety of activities.
It was a fun location for two couples, celebrating a birthday and celebrating life.
Would I go back to Playa?
Most definitely but I would need to pack a few more swimsuits.
It’s spring. Fashion lovers and apparently my husband are purging their closets. He has an appreciation for fashion and purchases pieces with longevity in mind. I sat on the ottoman while he looked through his closet for gently worn clothing to give to the young people at our church. He took out two white dress shirts out of the closet, removed the hangers and added them to the pile of clothing to giveaway. I looked at the shirts. They were perfect, no stains, freshly dry cleaned and bright white.
I starred at the shirts for about 10 minutes and then remembered that a white shirt is an essential to any closet. My closet needed new white oversized shirts to pair with mini skirts, leggings and ball gown skirts. Maybe I could use them?
So I grabbed the shirts up. My husband’s old Burberry and Ben Sherman shirts were a great addition and would be treasured.
Since seeing images of creative director Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox casually wearing white shirts, my appreciation for oversized dress shirts has grown. Amanda's style and simplicity leaves me speechless at times while scrolling through her instagram.
As usual I wanted to put my own twist on the classic white shirt. When I put it on it was oversized and had no shape. A knot at the front and rolling up the sleeves, a little double -sided tape to hold the neckline and BOOM my husband’s old shirt was a summer thriller.
TIP: Roll up the cuffs and knot the front of a white shirt for an edgy look.
I paired the Burberry shirt with a pair of Joe Fresh sweats. Joe Fresh has fun and inexpensive staple pieces that will not let you down. Jimmy Choo Anouk heels are very comfortable and stylish. I made these cool shoe gems to jazz up my shoes and add a Coveteureque look. Hermes Cuff and Fifth Avenue Watch. We ready.
Anytime I am in the UK, I must stop to Primark. It is kind of like the UK’s version of Forever 21 but on steroids. The necklace in this post is a great example of the inexpensive pieces at Primark that look like a million bucks.
My craft box is always lurking nearby and in it I found this wide piece of Tiffany Blue ribbon. Instant choker.
TIP: Watch this video of with Jenna Lyons and Leandra Medine of Manrepeller, on how to roll the cuffs of a white dress shirt.
Do not start from the bottom and roll. Fold the sleeve once so the cuff is halfway up your arm, and then roll, tucking the excess fabric in at the top.
The beauty of the white shirt is in its flexibility, simplicity, even though white can be hard to wear at times, a white dress shirt can easily be paired with sweats and heels or jeans and flats.
How do you wear oversized white shirts?
What are your tips and tricks?
I have always admired accessory designer Eugenia Kim. Her fun hats have been featured in many magazines, television shows and movies. Her designs are her signature and you can identify all of her pieces because of their flare and grandeur.
Hats have been a part of my fashion environment. My mother, aunts and girlfriends have all worn various types of hats. Church hats, beach hats, baseball caps, they have worn them all. I also appreciate the flare of a hat but mainly fascinators and winter hats.
When planning my wardrobe for my trip to Mexico, I knew a hat was on the menu. I love the sun but my hair and skin can get really dry if I do not use sunscreen or a hair protectant. A hat would be a great solution and is fun for lounging on the beach while keeping the sun out of my eyes.
I remembered that Eugenia Kim released a fashionable wide brimmed straw hat with catchy phrases such as “ Currently Offline” and “ Always on Vacay”. I went searching online, found the hats but the price. Lets just say that it was not in the budget. But it was a hat I could DIY!
To create this hat I headed to my local fashion store, Suzy Shier and picked up a straw hat. The straw hat I got was cool because it had a wired brim making the hat bendable and foldable. Perfect feature for packing. I then headed to Fabricland and got 3 meters of stringed sequins in my preferred colour. I already had a hot glue gun at home. I was ready to work on this project.
Before you get started, I would suggest you get all your materials together. The materials needed are listed below:
The hardest part of making this hat was forming the letters. I am a creator who loves crafts but this was difficult even for me. To make this part a bit easier, trace out the words you would like to add to the hat with chalk and then glue the sequins down over the tracing.
The most outstanding element of the orginal Eugenia Kim beach hat is the cursive letters. I thought it was possible to create the letters without cutting the string of sequins. WRONG. You may have to cut the string of sequins as needed to form the letters.
TIP: Pick a great contrasting colour to the colour of your hat. I would not suggest the same colour and your hat.
After my first attempt, I felt like a pro. There was another straw hat laying around from a photoshoot a while back. So
I made a hat as a surprise for my travel companion TK from StylesbyKnight. I made the same style hat for TK but using a forest green wide brim hat that I got from HM.
We were styling and profiling in Mexico with our Eugenia Kim inspired hats. They kept us cool and glam.
Do you take hats with you to sunny locations?
The gift bag from the recent Saks Fifth Avenue Opening was a hefty bag. Along with candles and makeup, there were some fun gift cards. One of the giftcards was for Beaumont Kitchen restaurant, located right next to Saks Fifth Avenue at Sherways Gardens Mall.
Though I was excited to have a complimentary meal at Beaumont Kitchen, I must admit that the location was out of the way. After some coaxing from the detailed menu on the website, I put on a mini and some heels, called it “datenight” and headed over to Beaumont Kitchen with my husband for dinner.
As per the website,
“Beaumont Kitchen is a fashionable all-day dining lounge that balances comfort and sophistication. Our cuisine is chef-driven and rooted in quality, showcasing fresh, seasonal and local ingredients in creative and authentic ways. Inviting you to enjoy without guilt, our healthy-meets-indulgent menu excites, nourishes and satisfies.”
This description is a true expression of Beautmont Kitchen’s atmosphere, menu and my overall experience. I would definitely agree. The food was high quality, tasty and fresh.
We ordered the parmesan Zucchi Sticks. They were crispy and fresh. The aioli dip was flavourful and thick. A great compliment to the savoury flavor of the parmesan zucchini. The starter was enough for two people but I could have ate the whole thing by myself. Secret… I love food. This is the major struggle of my life. Ha!
Too. Many. Yummy. Options. For. Entrees. I had the Tuscan Kale Salad with crispy black-eyed peas, caesar dressing and my husband had the thin crust pizza with pineapple, tomato, cilantro, green chili and cheddar. Naturally we shared out meals as we both wanted to try the different menu offerings. I love pizza especially with pineapple. The crust was soft and thin just how I like it ( health conscious over here) and the green chili was not too hot but combined it felt like I was eating Pinneapple Chow pizza. For all the non-Trinidadians, feel free to google what pineapple chow is.
My salad was light, yet hearty because of the fried black peas. Kale in general has a unique dull flavor but the cesar dressing added something familiar. The ambience was very relaxed yet upscale. It was unique to look over and see the beautiful shoe displays in Saks. Dinner felt like a fashionable, upscale experience.
The staff was knowledgeable about the menu and provided suggestions based on our preferences. I would go back to Beaumont Kitchen. The only issue is the distance from my Toronto home. But UBER can help with that! Anytime you are in the Sherway Gardens area and need a light meal, stop by Beaumont Kitchen.
They will have a little something for you and yours.
Just got back from Mexico. This trip I decided to downsize on all the bags that I usually pack. I wanted to carry my trusty Louis Vuitton Keepall 55 only. What a challenge! I usually take another bag with me as well. But this long weekend was a beach trip so I was trying to see if I could. No luck. Sigh!
The bag that I usually take with me from day to day is my vintage Chanel Jumbo XL bag. It is usually filled with my necessities that I need to get through the day.
I purchased this bag pre-owned and usually purchase all my designer bags pre-owned. Wanna know why? That post is on its way!
I wanted a Chanel Jumbo XL because it was a great size for my body shape, it could hold a lot of things and was easily convertible to other styles ie clutch, cross body.
My Chanel XL Jumbo is fairly large and things can easily be lost at the bottom. To make things easy to find, I put items into smaller cases. For example, my makeup goes into my makeup case, so it does not float around in my bag and eventually get lost. I also do not want my makeup to stain the beautiful interior of the bag.
Inside of my bag I have:
My Prada makeup bag. It carries all of my makeup items included Kleenex, mirror and emergency tweezers.
Kate Spade Card case. My best friend Elise got this for me for my birthday and it helpful if you want carry you cards separately or just need to grab your wallet necessities.
Gucci Wallet. This is my travel wallet that I usually take with me on trips. It’s large, has many compartments and it has spikes J. I keep my cards, receipts, wallet sized pictures, change and cash in this wallet
Celine Shadows. These are my signature sunglasses and I take them with me everywhere. If I am not wearing these I am wearing my vintage Dior shades.
Pack of Gum. I love Excel Gum and always have a pack for the plane or after eating a yummy slice of garlic bread!
Harrods Key case. I put my keys in a case to prevent them from scratching the interior of my bag.
Ritz Carlton Pen. I have stayed at so many Ritz Carlton hotels and I usually pick up the pens from the hotel room. Now I have a collection of them. A pen is always in my purse to write notes and fill out forms.
Hello Kitty Key. My friend Shana bought this key cover for me about 5 years ago and I never used it until now. It is so cute and an easy to way to find my keys in my bag. Even in a dark room if I feel the cat it means I got the keys.
My bag is a mix of all the things I need to get me through each meeting, each event and each day! I prefer larger bags because not only do they hold more they are the perfect size for my body proportions.
What do you carry in your bag?
Do you carry granola bars, mints or other treats?
Do you prefer larger or smaller bags?